by Dave Sands, Downtown Produce Department
The cooler temperatures of autumn bring sweetness into the field and members of the brassica family (kale, broccoli, and cauliflower) and root crops (beets, parsnips, carrots, and rutabagas) develop higher sugar content with the arrival of the first frost.
Photo by Habiba Sial
What's Fresh in Produce
The low temperatures that turn the autumn leaves red also bring a kiss of purple to Brussels sprouts and added flavor dimensions for which many farmers patiently wait before harvesting.
Cold temperatures also bring out the sweetness of many hard winter squash varieties. Although winter squash are known for their ability to hold, or keep for months, many varieties are fairly fragile and short lived and only keep for a month or so.
delicata and kabocha are among my favorites
Of these short-lived squashes, delicata and kabocha are among my favorites. Their smooth fine-grained texture melts perfectly in soups and stews, and their thin skin is easier to trim off than the hard armored shell of the storage king—the butternut squash.
Autumn in Washington means apple season is on. The abundance of apple varieties this time of year is astounding.
By October, most of the standard varieties were here—Fuji, Braeburn, and Honeycrisp—with Pink Lady that shows up every year just before Halloween. Those varieties are always a tasty treat, and they keep so well that we get to enjoy them for months and months.
There are many interesting heirloom apples that the Co-op gets for only one or two weeks at a time that offer unique flavor profiles, different from what is popular today. Our friends over in Okanagan County make weekly trips from their orchard to bring us an ever-changing palette of organic heirloom apples. Come see us and discover our favorite apple “du jour”!
Have questions? Need a recommendation? Just ask!
If you're curious about winter produce, our suppliers, or need a suggestion about how best to add these delicious vegetables into your cooking rotation, just ask a member of the produce team. They have loads of info to share!